Getting ready to leave on a trip on Friday morning and drive around the US, literally, with a few diversions inland. I’ve got family in Virginia and some friends scattered along East coast and will let whim and conditions guide me as to where to go and what to see. I’m not one to go some place just to say I’ve been, or for the “view” or scenery, so to assign some meaning to this other than ‘old coot wants to ramble’, I’ve decided to turn it into a bit of a pilgrimage and visit nine of the temples of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives in contiguous US. I know all the monks at those temples for about 30 years and it will be a treat to just touch base, have a cup of tea, do some bows and move on.
I see this little adventure as a gathering-in occurring during a time when I sense very strongly that I’m getting much more scattered hither and yon mentally. So a weird combo of me in a motion within some fear of my going Goofy, while simultaneously deepening the unformed spiritual space within and learning to trust that it is all for my own good. My only ‘job’ is to see that and allow things to flow out/in from that unknown place.
The last week with its fluctuations of the AQI smoke index has gone from several days of deep purple and lighter purple and my hope tomorrow to be firmly in the Red Zone, under 200 of the possible 500, and in a few days of heading east will start to encounter the Old Normal with particulate matter not being a health concern.
When I was young I wound up in a variety of interesting and quite dicey situations, sometimes clumped together and overlapping so that I thought that’s what normal life was like, since almost everyone I knew and considered friend or partner lived just like me. The culmination was several years of scrambling towards my personal ‘bottom’ and then having to make some choices, actually one choice with various strings of effort attached to it. Was I willing to change completely and allow for the possibility that there might be more to life than waking up, more like coming too, and starting the recapitulation of the night or days before to find out if I made any new enemies, or worse.? And then it got worse; the last several years were a swirl of recklessness and a sort of trepidation and ultimately a willingness to give up and die in the streets. Something changed and I started to participate in the change and then I changed.
I encountered Buddhist training at a real practical level and I’ve had several rearrangements of my body and mind at kind of a molecular level, and this little late life jaunt seems to be an extension of that motion and seeking in the direction of that Stillness which can hold everything equanomously and with very little intent.
So, I’m curious how this will eventuate, it may die on the vine or it may be a loosely reordered life based on the Precepts and whispering the ongoing question within which is built the answer.
May I know what is good to do, may I do what is good to do.
Maitraiya, Buddha of the future; We are all part of becoming you.
Too cease from evil, to do only good, to purify ones Heart.
I don’t know who wants these answers. How can this being help?
I bow in gratitude and talk nonsense to the animals and they listen, a rabbit on a lawn at midnight listening an old fool natter on about the common language having no words. Or was the rabbit saying that to the fool.
Hard to tell sometimes if we are talking or speaking, hearing or listening.